Contrary to rumors that were bandied about earlier today, Apple will continue allow apps that use global hotkey shortcuts in the Mac App Store, reports Lex Friedman at Macworld. There had been some concerns raised after a report from Erica Sadun at TUAW hinted that Apple was cracking down on apps that used these hotkeys.
The issue centers around the fact that Apple will begin enforcing sandboxing, the process of limiting the system resources that an app has access to, on June 1st. These limitations are being put into place by Apple in order to improve application security, although many developers are finding the terms of sandboxing, and therefore inclusion in the Mac App Store, to be a bit onerous.
The rumors that Apple would kill off apps that used global hotkeys was just credible enough to gain traction, as some felt it could fall under the limitations of sandboxing.
Friedman says that there is no such ban incoming:
But again, Macworld can confirm that no such hotkey ban is coming to the Mac App Store. In fact, Apple offers developers several public APIs that make simple work of creating global keyboard shortcuts, and those APIs aren’t going away.
Apple had previously set the sandboxing deadline for March 1st. By that time, developers that wished to continue selling their apps in the Mac App Store would need to abide by new rules that severely limited the areas of a computer that an app had access to. The deadline was later extended to June 1st.
With the announcement of Mountain Lion, Apple indicated that it would be instituting a new feature called GateKeeper.
Apple is billing Gatekeeper as a security feature for users of the Mac. At its core is the ability of users to control which apps are able to be installed onto their computer.
With Gatekeeper, Apple is defaulting casual Mac users to installing apps that are purchased through the Mac App Store and signed digitally via the Developer ID Program. This is a free certification that allows developers to sell apps right from their websites, but allows Apple the ability to disable or disallow those apps if they become an issue.
As Federico Viticci points out at Macstories, some apps like TextExpander and Keyboard Maestro, which use deeper integration of keystroke access than simple hotkeys, may have to find other ways to do what they do, or operate outside of the Mac App Store. Other than that, though, the general fears of this happening can be put to rest.